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Allied health professionals, healthcare scientists and nurses celebrate over £1 million research funding

2 March 2017

Research across the Trust led by non-medical professionals has been recognised through research awards totalling £1.2 million over the past year.


Allied health professionals (AHPs), healthcare scientists and nurses have won funding and prestigious fellowships, highlighting the strength and depth of research activity across the Trust.


Awards have included research into a range of conditions and treatments including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, atrial fibrillation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Highlights include:


  • Anne-Marie Russell is a nurse and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) clinical doctoral research fellow working with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients at Royal Brompton Hospital. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust (UK) has supported her research into IPF, notably through a donation of £6,000 presented during IPF week in September. Her project will assess the quality of care from a patient perspective by developing a patient-reported outcome measure (PROM), specifically for IPF patients.

  • A grant from The Health Foundation ‘Innovating for Improvement’ funding stream was awarded to specialist arrhythmia pharmacist at Harefield Hospital, Sally Manning, for a project to improve the identification and treatment of atrial fibrillation patients. As Sally is currently on maternity leave, Zainab Khanbhai is taking the lead in delivering the project.

  • Consultant clinical psychologist at Royal Brompton Hospital Dr Anne-Marie Doyle, Trust lead for psychology, recently received an award from the same funding stream for her study ‘Integrated Health: Optimising Strength and Resilience’.

  • Haifa Lyster, a consultant pharmacist in transplantation and ventricular assist devices, based at Harefield, recently received a Personal Research Award from Pharmacy Research UK, to look at how ECMO can alter the way the body handles medicines.

Other funding awards are providing support for staff to undertake formal research training, such as Masters or PhD qualifications.

  • Specialist cystic fibrosis dietician at Royal Brompton Hospital, Sarah Collins, was awarded a clinical doctoral research fellowship by Health Education England and NIHR in June 2016. Her particular interest is in cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and she will be developing a self-management education programme for patients.

  • Gemma Stanford, a specialist physiotherapist for adult cystic fibrosis at Royal Brompton Hospital, has received a NIHR clinical doctoral research fellowship, and is now studying for a PhD at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), which is part of Imperial College London.

  • Another NIHR doctoral research fellowship has been awarded to Sarah Jones, a respiratory research physiotherapist at Harefield Hospital, for a project investigating neuromuscular electrical stimulation of the lower limbs in pulmonary rehabilitation.

  • Sara Buttery, a research physiotherapist at Royal Brompton Hospital, has won a place on a new NIHR leadership training programme for research delivery staff, aiming to produce leaders equipped for the specific challenges of delivering clinical research.

  • Trust physiotherapist, Abigail Roberts, and dietitian, Rupal Patel, both based at Harefield Hospital, have secured NIHR funding to undertake full-time Masters in Clinical Research (MRes) at City University, London. In 2015, they both attended the Trust’s research development programme for AHPs, healthcare scientists and nurses, which was designed to support staff in developing and leading their own research projects.

Mary Morrell, professor of sleep and respiratory physiology at the NHLI, and senior sleep physiologist at the Trust established the research development programme and is delighted that non-medical staff are , acquiring highly competitive research funding to support their studies. 

She said: “The recent awards are testament to the calibre of our staff across the Trust and demonstrate that important research is being carried out across a number of professions.”

The Trust undertakes pioneering and world-class research into heart and lung disease. Through our research, we develop new treatments, improve care for patients and help to inform decision-making and policy across the NHS and beyond.


The Trust is also a part of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC), which is a partnership between the Trust, Imperial College London, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. 

The AHSC aims to advance medicine and improve the quality of life of NHS patients, and patients around the world by taking research discoveries and putting them into practice in healthcare as quickly as possible by introducing new therapies and techniques. 

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